Study Notes on James 1:16-18

My dearly loved brothers and sisters, don’t be misled. Every good gift bestowed, every perfect gift received comes to us from above, courtesy of the Father of lights. He is consistent. He won’t change His mind or play tricks in the shadows. We have a special role in His plan. He calls us to life by His message of truth so that we will show the rest of His creatures His goodness and love. James 1:16-18 (The Voice) It was of His own will that He gave us birth [as His children] by the word of truth, so that we would be a kind of first fruits of His creatures [a prime example of what He created to be set apart to Himself—sanctified, made holy for His divine purposes]. (v. 18 AMP)

There is a clear warning to not wander from the truth, and then reassurance that every good and perfect gift originates from God. In His nature light shines and pours forth love. It is the shadow and variation in my own heart that deceives if I let myself be misled away from God. We hold an honored place in the Creator’s plan and this just astounds me when I think of all the ways I shift in the shadowy parts of my heart. Jesus is the first fruit of God and we are His first fruits, holy and consecrated by His sacrificial love.

When I align myself with God’s goodness, the shadows flee. They cannot stand up to the pure Light. I am aware of the necessity to be grounded in Truth. My heart gets pulled away easily. I have been deceived by false goodness many times. It is in the conscious choice to tether my heart to God that keeps me from wandering completely off course. His perfect goodness is constant. When I am tethered to it, I feel the tug pull me back when my anxious thoughts or actions lead me astray. He protects me from walking off the edge of the cliffs I may not even be aware of up ahead. My obedience is an act of consecration and a holy offering of myself, the way first fruits are meant to be. And He brings the goodness.

Lord, Keep me grounded and tethered to You. Forgive me for taking Your goodness for granted in my shifting heart. Help me stay rooted and aware of Your goodness and gifting in my life. Let me testify of Your goodness and be aligned to Your will. In Jesus’ name, amen.

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